Using the Patch Tool in Photoshop to Remove Unwanted Content

Adobe recently published a short tutorial video looking at using the patch tool to remove objects from the background in a quick and effective way.

Photoshop has a number of tools that can enable you to remove objects from an image. We typically use the clone stamp tool but there are other methods for doing that as well. In this Adobe video, you can see how you can use the patch tool for this task.

You might have tried to use the patch tool in the past and got some poor results (we did) but it can actually be useful if you know how to use it although you might still end up using other tools as well to complete the process.

The example in this video includes a picture where a horse is in the background behind two horses fighting. To remove it you can try and use the patch tool on a part of the image on the side, however that part of the image is not close enough in texture to the center (there is a lot of dust in the center of the image), so the technique shown in this video is one that we didn’t really consider and it seems to work pretty well with the patch tool (it doesn’t necessarily work that well with other tools).

The idea is simply to remove the unwanted background hours in parts. There are two options for using the patch tool – normal and content-aware and it seems that content-aware dows a better job in this case at least. So what you will want to do it use an area that is similar in texture to the area that you want to remove your subject from and even if it is small – work part by part.

Finally, you might still need to do some fixing using something like the clone stamp to prevent repeating areas that look unnatural but other than that the result actually looks pretty nice.

We covered the patch tool several times in the past including “Advanced Patch Tool with Content-Aware in Photoshop“, “How to Remove People and Objects from the Background in Photoshop“, “How to Best Use the Patch and Healing Brush Tools“, “Fixing the Sky with the Patch Tool in Photoshop” and much more – here.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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